IB Chemistry: Outline for Students and Parents

Chemistry Overview

Minimum word course summary:

Chemistry is the study of matter, the changes it undergoes and the involvement of energy in these processes.  Understand macroscopic observation by imagining the microscopic world of atoms and molecules.

Main topics studied:

Stoichiometry (the math of reactions); modeling changes to matter and energy when atoms, molecules and ions interact (atomic structure, periodicity, bonding, energetics, measurement); applying chemical theories to real-life applications such as environmental chemistry and the chemical industry (kinetics, equilibrium, oxidation and reduction and organic). The course finishes by studying medicinal chemistry, how chemical principles look in the real world of researching and manufacturing drugs and medicines.

Main differences between HL and SL:

90 hours; significant difference in breadth and depth, more lab work.

Skills most often seen in successful students:

Autonomous, self-motivated learners who seek regular feedback to check deep understanding and constantly make connections between concepts.

What level Mathematics do I need?:

Chem SL – Maths Studies is fine  / Chem HL – SL or HL Maths only

Relevant university courses:

Chemical engineering, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, medicine

Other useful info for G10 students:

You’ll have to learn how to pronounce stoichiometry

Further reading/Websites

Official IB course summary Chemninja  IB Chemistry study guide MSJCHem

See also:

Holatutor guide to IB Biology, IB Physics, IB Environmental Systems and Societies.


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